Welcome to the Grow Your Own Health project
We have had the great pleasure of giving away 2,500 packets of edible flower seeds to Sussex residents. We have done this via GP surgeries because we are keen to show the many links between wellbeing and growing plants, particularly if you can eat them!
If you are lucky enough to have one of our packets of seeds in your hands, you may be an experienced horticulturalist, or you may have never grown seeds before. There are instructions on the back of each brown paper packet. We have made three 60 second films, one to introduce ourselves and the project, another about the benefits you might get from the plants we have chosen and another about how to grow your seeds. We were delighted to see Monty Don planting nasturtiums on Gardeners World last week ( its episode 4, 2021 ) if you want to see a true gardening expert at work.
Sarah and Julia introduce the project ‘What’s special about these plants?’
How Grow Your Own Health Started
Sarah Andersen, a Sussex GP, and Julia Behrens, a medical herbalist and published author, have been friends for years.
On a dog walk in winter 2021 lockdown they decided to share their love of gardening, and growing, with others who might not have
grown food or medicinal plants before.
Sarah, the kind of GP who has been known to prescribe a dog walk or sea swimming, was hearing sad stories in clinic; many people
were lonely, desperately missing friends, family, colleagues or their usual activities. Others were coming to terms with loss,
and were wondering what the future held for them.
Julia has a lifelong passion for plants, and a deep understanding of how they can affect a person’s wellbeing.
Who is supporting this initiative?
We would like to thank East Sussex County Council for funding this project from the beginning, alongside Futurehealth Brighton. We could not have reached so many GP surgeries, nearly 50 in total, without the enthusiasm and generous donation from the Local Medical Committee of GPs. West Sussex County Council have generously funded the expansion of the project so that we have now been able to offer seeds to people all over Sussex, from Bognor to Brighton, and Rye to Crawley.
We would love to hear what you think about this project, and to see how you got on. Please send us your photos on email@example.com or twitter @growyrownhealth #growyourownhealth. Or you can email them in to your own surgery and they will pass them onto us so we can collect them all together from across the county.
How on earth could something as simple as planting a seed affect your health?
Gardening has been shown to improve your mental and physical wellbeing (Kings Fund Report, 2016)
Connecting to your natural environment is good for you and the planet
Planting a seed is a hopeful thing to do.
Even though we are living through uncertain times, if you can look after them they will grow and…
• You and your neighbours, can enjoy the colourful flowers all summer
• You can eat the results; add them to a salad, liven up your dinner or decorate a cake
• You can give them as a gift
• You can start a natural ‘first aid kit’ or make a DIY beauty product
• You can collect the seeds to begin again next Spring
Mostly, we hope you have fun.
HELP? We have a dedicated Grow Your Own Health hotline: 0787 464 7295
On Saturday mornings in Spring, 9.30am – 11.30am
Any questions about planting your seeds will be answered by an untrained enthusiast.